The Referral Process
How is a student referred for a Child Study Team Evaluation?
Students between the ages of 3 and 21 suspected of having an educational disability may be referred to the Child Study Team for an evaluation by a variety of sources, but they generally come from one of the following:
- Parents: Parents may request a Child Study Team Evaluation by contacting the Case Manager at their child’s school and forwarding the request in writing.
- Intervention and Referral Services: Intervention and Referral Services (IR&S) is a building based inter-disciplinary group that meets regularly to provide intervention for students experiencing difficulty in the classroom. Once the PAC/IR&S has utilized its resources and determines that additional information may be necessary, or feels that the student may be potentially educationally disabled, the student may be recommended for a CST evaluation.
- Administrators or Outside Agencies: The Principal or other building administrator or an individual from an outside agency (doctor, social worker etc). may refer a student for a Child Study Team Evaluation.
Who are the members of the Child Study Team?
The New Jersey Department of Education requires that the Child Study Team include a school psychologist, a learning disabilities teacher consultant, and a school social worker. These professionals are all certified and employed directly by the Pemberton Township Board of Education.
What is the procedure after the referral is made?
Once the referral has been made, the Case Manager has 20 days to schedule an Identification Meeting. The necessary personnel expected to attend this meeting would be a social worker, psychologist, learning disabilities teacher consultant, classroom teacher, speech and language specialist (if the suspected disability included that area or the child was age 3-5) and certainly the parent.
Are students automatically tested if the request is made?
No. Once a request for a Child Study Team evaluation is made an Identification Meeting must be scheduled. At that meeting it is determined if a Child Study Team Evaluation is warranted and if so an Evaluation Plan is developed.
What is the procedure if the student is going to be tested?
Once it is determined that testing is necessary, an assessment plan is developed and the parent/guardian gives written permission. The district then has 90 days to complete the necessary evaluations. Within the 90 days an Eligibility Conference is scheduled where the evaluations are interpreted and it is determined if the student is eligible for special education and/or related services.
If a student is eligible does that mean he or she will be in a special education class?
Absolutely not. Before a student receives services, an Individual Education Program must be developed and agreed to. In Pemberton, the majority of students eligible for special education services receive those services within general education classroom and programs.